Monday, September 26, 2011

O, Juliet by Robin Maxwell

    Everyone knows the story of the star-cross'd lovers from Verona. In this novelization the equally doomed lovers hail from Florence, are quite older, eighteen and twenty-five, and Dante Alighieri biggest 15th century fans. When Romeo Monticecco attends a Medici ball in order to gain a peace-making audience with the the city's patron, Cosimo de'Medici. At this ball Romeo meets Juliet Cappelleti, the daughter of the man his father hates. Juliet is the daughter of wealthy silk merchant, Capello Cappeletti. Capello wanting to further his wealth and prominence seeks a partnership with Jacopo Strozzi, whose family's wealth and power is second only to the Medici. In order to cement this partnership he offers his daughters hand in marriage to sweeten the deal. Jacopo, however, is no Prince Charming. He stinks, is cruel, and will do whatever it takes to get the handsome, verse-writing Romeo out of Juliet's head. There isn't a nurse in this retelling, but Lucrezia Tournabuoni de'Medici serves as Juliet's confidante and best friend.
      This retelling make the come to life in a new way. Shakespeare's version is still yet to be eclipsed , but this way way easier to understand. I hate to give any part of this book away to spoilers but the way Juliet's cousin, Marco, not Tybalt, gets murdered creates for far better drama. I would really recommend this book. But one thing that hasn't changed is there was never a tell of more woe than that of Juliet and her Romeo.

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